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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Vivotif Berna

Generic Name: typhoid vaccine (live), oral (Pronunciation: TYE foid vax EEN)

What is typhoid vaccine (Vivotif Berna)?

Typhoid (also called "typhoid fever") is a serious disease caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria. Typhoid can be fatal if left untreated.

Typhoid can cause high fever, muscle aches, severe headache, weakness, confusion or agitation, loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea or constipation, and rose-colored spots on the skin.

Untreated typhoid infection may lead to kidney failure, or intestinal bleeding caused by perforation (forming of a hole), which can be fatal. If the infection spreads to the gallbladder, the infected person may become a chronic carrier of the bacteria that causes typhoid. A carrier may have no symptoms but is capable of spreading the infection to others.

Typhoid is spread through contact with the stool (bowel movements) of a person infected with the bacteria. This usually occurs by eating food or drinking water that has become contaminated with feces from an infected person. Once in the digestive tract, typhoid infection can spread to the blood and other parts of the body.

Typhoid fever is most common in non-industrialized parts of the world, especially Asia, Africa, and Central or South America. People who travel to those regions are at risk of coming into contact with the disease.

The typhoid vaccine is used to help prevent this disease in adults and children who are at least 6 years old. Although not part of a routine immunization schedule in the U.S., typhoid vaccine is recommended for people who travel to areas where the disease is common.

This vaccine works by exposing you to a small amount of the bacteria, which causes your body to develop immunity to the disease.

Typhoid vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body, and will not prevent any disease caused by bacteria other than Salmonella typhi.

Like any vaccine, the typhoid vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

What are the possible side effects of typhoid vaccine (Vivotif Berna)?

You should not receive a booster dose if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after taking a typhoid vaccine capsule.

Becoming infected with typhoid fever is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Less serious side effects include:

  • low fever;
  • headache;
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain; or
  • mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.

What is the most important information I should know about typhoid vaccine (Vivotif Berna)?

You should not receive this vaccine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to typhoid vaccine in the past, or if you have fever with any type of infection or illness, or a weak immune system caused by disease or by using certain medicines such as chemotherapy.

Typhoid vaccine should not be used in a person who is a typhoid carrier.

Before you receive this vaccine, tell the doctor if you have any illness with vomiting or diarrhea, if you are taking an antibiotic or sulfa drug (Azulfidine, Bactrim, Gantrisin, Septra, SMX-TMP, Sulfazine), or if you plan to start taking an anti-malaria medication within 10 days after receiving typhoid vaccine.

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. In the case of a more severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, the doctor may ask you to wait until you get better before you can receive the vaccine.

The typhoid oral vaccine is given in a series of 4 capsules that are taken 1 per day on alternating days (days 1, 3, 5, and 7). On this alternating-day schedule, you will take 1 capsule every 48 hours for 7 days. You must take each capsule according to the recommended schedule for this vaccine to be effective.

You should complete all doses at least 1 week before your scheduled travel or possible exposure to typhoid.

You must keep typhoid vaccine capsules cold when not in use. Once you receive the capsules from your doctor or pharmacy, take them directly home and place them in the refrigerator. Keep each capsule in the foil blister pack in the refrigerator until you are ready to take it. Do not allow the capsules to freeze.

In addition to receiving typhoid vaccine, take precautions while traveling such as avoiding raw fruits or vegetables that cannot be peeled, drinks that contain ice, flavored ices that may have been made with contaminated water, unbottled or unboiled water, or any food or beverage purchased from a street vendor.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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